The New York Times recently reported on Instagram model children. Parents take photos of their children – wearing clothing sent to them by brands looking for exposure – in fashionable poses, then post them on Instagram to thousands of followers.
The kid profiled in the piece, Princeton, sometimes asks his mom why people know him. It’s not fully computing at times that the photos Mom is taking of him are going to people’s phones and tablets.
This is pretty similar to the trend of parents hiring photographers to capture every little moment of a kid’s life – picnics, having a catch with Dad, first day of school. The difference here, though, is that these kids are being promoted to the world as “brands.”
No, they’re kids. Like 5-year-old kids.
I once auditioned for a number of commercials as a 6-7-year-old. I don’t remember much from the experience, only that my favorite part of it was actually being in New York City, seeing the Empire State Building and walking down Madison Avenue. Really, that’s it. My parents didn’t push me into anything, other than having us all be looked at by a talent scout. I wasn’t seen over social media by thousands every day. It didn’t affect me at all.
I don’t know if this affects these kids, but I’m sure it will play some role in their development. It’s probably not the healthiest thing, either. But hey, a parent has to feel successful, right?
As the lines separating social media reality from our reality blur even more, watch for more of this trend. Millennial parents are sure to continue hawking their kids for professional likes.